Google has started rolling out January security patch for its Pixel and Nexus devices, while OnePlus announced that it is stopping the OxygenOS 5.0 OTA update for its OnePlus 5 smartphone. Home-grown smartphone maker Micromax is planning to launch Android Go smartphone and Mandrake Linux creator wants to win back privacy with an Android-based mobile OS that will drop all Google services. Software ruled or broke the world today, and here are all the major tech stories that you need to know.
OnePlus 5 OxygenOS 5.0 OTA update cancelled
OnePlus has cancelled the global rollout of OxygenOS 5.0 OTA update for its OnePlus 5 smartphone. The update brought Android 8.0 Oreo to the flagship smartphone along with features and performance improvements. Now the company has cancelled the rollout due to a bug found in the update.
OnePlus has not detailed the bug found in OxygenOS 5.0, but those who have updated their devices to the version are reporting consistent app crashes. The company is planning to release OxygenOS 5.0.1 as interim update with fix to the known bug. The update will also bring the Face Unlock feature currently available on OnePlus 5T.
Google Pixel and Nexus phones get January security patch
While OnePlus had a debacle with its software update, Google continues to release monthly security patch for its Nexus and Pixel devices. The search giant has started rolling out the security patch for this month that brings two patch levels – the patch dated January 1, 2018 contains 20 known bug fixes while the patch dated January 5, 2018 fixes 18 more known bugs.
Google’s Pixel and Nexus-branded devices will also get additional 46 bug fixes as part of January security patch. The known vulnerabilities fixed with this update are rated from high to critical.
Micromax Android Go smartphone launch
Home-grown smartphone maker Micromax will be the first to launch an Android Go-based smartphone. Android Go is a lightweight version of Android that brings optimized memory management and is tuned to work with smartphones featuring 512MB-1GB of RAM and around 8GB storage. The smartphone is said to be priced around Rs 2,000, making it at an attractive option for first-time smartphone buyers.
Micromax will be followed by Intex, Lava and Karbonn to launch Android Go-based smartphones in the country. All these smartphones will be priced in the same range. The Android Go smartphones will come bundled with lightweights apps like Google Go, YouTube Go and Files Go.
eelo is an Android OS sans Google services
Gael Duval, the creator of Mandrake Linux, is working on eelo, an open source mobile operating system that won’t have any Google service. Duval says eelo will help smartphone users win back their privacy by not offering any service or application that tracks user data.
Duval says eelo will be built on top of LineageOS, a forked version of now dead CyanogenMod, and admits the real challenge is to remove Google Play Store, Google Play Services and other Google apps. He notes that on eelo, Google Search will be replaced by privacy-enabled DuckDuckGo and Qwant while safe app distribution will be handled by Android program repositories like F-Droid and APKPure. eelo sounds like an ambitious project but whether it will it big needs to be seen.
Pixel 2 portrait mode comes to non-Google phones
Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are not short of issues, but they hold their own ground when it comes to smartphone camera. The most interesting part of Pixel 2’s camera is the Portrait Mode that captures images with blurred background using single lens setup. The feature was recently ported to first-generation Pixel, Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X devices.
Now the feature has been ported to some non-Google smartphones as well. A developer named Arnova8G2 has modified the NX Camera app with fully functional portrait mode on devices like OnePlus 3, OnePlus 3T, Moto G5S Plus and Samsung Galaxy Note8. The portrait mode only works with rear camera, but the developer is working to enable the feature on front camera as well.